Dean River Debacle

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by brat, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. Jumbo

    Jumbo Member

    This same issue (commercial bycatch impact) is an issue every year on the Dean and has been for some time (at least since 1999). I send a letter every year.

    Agree that current management is aimed at a very different result than any of us would like to see.
  2. ralfish

    ralfish Active Member

    The significant difference this year is the near total collapse of the Skeena sockeye fishery. With extreme conservation measures now in effect , meaning even FN food and ceremonial fisheries aren't taking place on the Skeena. So the North Coast commercials have moved down the coast to the Dean channel etc to par take in the low $ value chum and pink fisheries. 130 boats now out there and the last time I looked it was over 2 dozen openings. In the past when "weedline" requirements were in place it simply meant no one fished as the commercials did't drop the money on two sets of nets. Now the North Coast fleet is concentrating on the areas in Area 8 that dont have the weed-line requirement, and the Dean and Kimsquit steelhead are getting hammered. Badly...again.
  3. Jumbo

    Jumbo Member

    thanks for the add'l intel.
    this world is getting so f*cked.
  4. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    When I gillneted in S.E. alaska . we all fished with a weed line and very seldon caught a steelhead. Every steelhead I ever caught in P.S in a gillnet was in the top 5 meshes no matter how deep of water I was fishing, Even then we rarely caught them because our season was generaly over by the end of october before the steelhead run entered the sound & most early steelhead are hatchery fish & will pass right thru a 6 inch mesh net.
  5. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

    Close to 14 years gillnetting the Salish Sea (we called it Puget Sound back then) I can count on one hand the number of steelhead I netted; zero.
  6. PT

    PT Physhicist

    Way back in the 80's a neighbor gave us a couple by-catch steelhead. 42 and 44" long. Not the big shouldered bruisers you'd catch in the spring PS rivers. Long and lean with enormous square tails.
  7. ralfish

    ralfish Active Member


    Both are Dean fish, both have scars from net encounters..
  8. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

    The fish on the Dean that are getting hammered are summer runs - and show up way before October.
  9. BDD

    BDD Active Member

    As a seiner in SE AK during the 90s, we caught steelhead quite regularly. There was no market for them so most of the time they became take-home fish. We fished inside waters and did not intercept as many as those fishing outside; I heard stories that they caught a lot more. I imagine many of them were heading south to BC waters. Many of the purse-seined fish could be returned to the water unharmed, if such emphasis would be made by the AK and BC fish managers. Just like fly anglers, there are good, responsible, ethical commercial guys out that would do the right thing if taught.
    aplTyler likes this.
  10. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Headed up next week to try and collect some on site data. Will report back at the end of the month.

    Chris DeLeone likes this.
  11. Chris DeLeone

    Chris DeLeone Active Member

    Have fun up there SG
  12. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Too much office work and too little field "work" makes Sg a dull boy. About done with that nonsense.

  13. ralfish

    ralfish Active Member

    Don't have your expectations too high, back to numbers of pre 2008....
  14. BDD

    BDD Active Member

    Ral, is that because of lower adult returns due to productivity/survival or higher harvest rates, both, or too early to tell?
  15. ralfish

    ralfish Active Member

    That is the question fisheries managers have been trying to answer for the last number of years. But there is one thing we can do that we do have control of.....
  16. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member


    Are you suggesting you have control of DFO? I don't think they got that memo. I think DFO is a resource extraction administration agency, wherein conservation is an occasional by-product of insufficient harvest. Weedlines notwithstanding.

  17. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    The top fish has a net mark, the bottom fish was scarred by a seal or sea lion.
  18. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    wasting your breath Ralf....

  19. ralfish

    ralfish Active Member

    Not a chance. The spacing is far to regular to be any animal....

    Salmo, we dont have control of DFO but we can hammer their heads into the ground and call out their BS along with the bs of the unenforced fisheries that operate out of compliance. Examples:
  20. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Keep up the good fight.

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